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BizReport : Advertising : September 17, 2021


Expert: How regulated brands can deepen engagement

There is a big struggle for brands in highly regulated industries to create messaging that is not only relevant to their core consumer but that is also engaging while not overstepping the bounds of regulation. We asked a digital expert how these brands can improve their strategies.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Congrats on your official launch, what are your goals for MACH9 in the next year?

Albert Moufarrij, Mach9: As an agency we strive to grow our team of talent while growing our increasing portfolio of clients in the regulated space. Satisfied clients and a growing team are two metrics that we feel indicates our rapid growth.

Kristina: How is advertising for highly regulated industries different than, say, a Neutrogena or Tyson brand?

Albert: Regulated brands face a completely different set of hurdles when it comes to digital marketing. They face the challenges of advertising in multiple markets with varying degrees of acceptability for a brand from local or government legislation. Regulations keep people informed, society healthy, and companies honest, but these industries still must strive to meet their business objectives. Regulated brands can succeed digitally, while committing to be socially responsible when advertising in global markets. Technically speaking we need to ensure these brands have messages that are not being received by unintended audiences. EX: For alcohol, legal age adults in the appropriate markets. It's important we embed mechanisms to go back and prove the audience you intended is the audience you are currently targeting.

Kristina: What are these types of brands doing to ensure their messaging holds the regulation line but still engages the consumer?

Albert: Regulated brands can't rely on puffery, opting instead to focus their approach on informing consumers about their products. Many regulated brands create digital advertising and marketing materials to exist online and rely on the native social filters provided by social media platforms for age verification. The fact is many brands struggle to age gate effectively. Many companies opt to not even attempt to operate in complex markets because the task of catering their media campaigns around regulations per market seems to be daunting. MACH9 is seeking set the gold standard for regulated industries to thrive online.

Kristina: How important is it for these brands to control the narratives surrounding their products?

Albert: Extremely, it's very easy for language and messages to be taken out of context. Having the right escalation processes and a first line for defense is a strong method to combat these negative sentiments from originating. Regulated brands can't say they are responsible, they must show it.

Kristina: Although regulated in what campaigns put out, some consumers still say they see too many of these types of ads - what can brands do about that?

Albert: It's less of an issue of brands and more of an issue of advertising agencies over saturating a space when a consumer shows interest. Adjusting your targets and your impression caps can do a lot to address these issues. When a broad spectrum of targeting over inundates consumers with ads they are closing off their brands.

Kristina: What are your top tips for highly regulated industries/brands to improve their online presence?

Albert: It starts with listening to their consumers and coming with answers to their queries. Brands need to be selective who they work with to ensure the proper protocols are in place to continue to be socially responsible. Be accountable to the messaging and the activities your company performs digitally. When you come across something not working, shut down rapidly and be transparent with your consumers to preserve loyalty. Lastly refine your activities as you test and learn so that you are only approaching consumers when you are in that stage of the customer journey when they need that next best step in that broad spectrum of targeting.






Tags: ad tips for regulated brands, advertising, advertising tips, advertising trends, digital ad tips, digital tips for regulated brands, Mach9








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